13 January 2009


New Years Day, as it always does, started off slowly. We awoke around 9:30 (our biggest sleep-in of the trip so far!) with actual daylight streaming in through the curtains - another first for this trip! The view out of the window was totally different to how it had looked the day before – all the ice had melted and the frost had thawed, and green, lush fields surrounded us.

We spent the morning quietly, mingling with family without any particular plans for the rest of the day, until great aunt H came over to us and offered to take us for a little trip around the island. She drove us, and C, through the sleepy village/town of Nes to the beach, which J declared to look just like Sandy Point. Except colder. Much colder. We went for a short walk along the sand, with C and J bravely putting a hand each into the sea, and both came to the same conclusion. Cold. Very cold.

Clambering back into the car, H drove us to the nearby village of Buren, where we stopped for some refreshments at a beach café, where we were offered complimentary oliebollen! The Dutch do like their oily balls.

Then back to base for lunch, which J was delighted to find was vegetarian.

J, along with A-M and L, spent some of the afternoon helping P and S prepare a delicious dinner of leek and potato soup (more of a broth base, rather than a thick soup), veggies and a shepherds pie. D spent the afternoon relaxing, and editing words and music on his laptop, because he could (ah, the joys of modern technology. How we take thee for granted).


On a shelf in the fridge in the pantry in the kitchen, there sat a carton of perfectly ordinary pouring cream. This apparently innocent item caused much amusement to most of the native English speakers by whom it had been observed. The reason for this seemingly unsolicited merriment was our discovery of the Dutch name for it, printed in large, clear letters upon the side and the top of the container - a name that we and our roommates (L, J, A and C) promptly adopted as the official name for our dormitory. To certify this, we stuck the label on our door, to proclaim proudly (and not at all immaturely) that we are, were, and will always be…


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